In the mid-20th century, composers of orchestral music were exploring techniques and aesthetics that would shift western classical music forever. This exploration of new frontiers, for many composers, also came with an engagement of race and culture, which would in turn produce music that’s both retrospective and forward leaning. Greetings – I’m Loki Karuna, and on this edition of Noteworthy I’d like for you to take a listen to a great example of music from that era by composer Coleridge Taylor Perkinson.

The name Coleridge Taylor Perkinson might sound familiar to you. Well that’s because his mother named him after the Afro-British composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor when he was born back in 1932. Obviously it was his mother’s wish for him to also become a great Black composer, which he did, writing a number of solo compositions, choral works, and even a few orchestral pieces. Among those was a Sinfonietta, inspired by late 19th century musical construction, but filled with energetic, contemporary flare, as performed here by Sphinx Virtuosi.

Before his death in 2004, Coleridge Taylor Perkinson went on to write music for television and film, in addition to writing charts for Marvin Gaye and Harry Belafonte. His career was uniquely built on classical frameworks, and fueled by modern sensibilities, earning him a spot among America’s most Noteworthy.

Noteworthy is a production of WDAV classical public radio.